A suspicious backpack found on College Street outside Woolsey Hall Friday afternoon was ruled not to be a threat. 

After members of the bomb squad at the scene examined the bag’s contents, they determined that it did not present danger. Police — who had blocked off College Street between Grove and Wall streets and told students to move back “for their own safety” — removed the traffic blocks by around 1:40 p.m.

Police Lieutenant William Holphan said the owner of the bag is unknown. The bag will remain in police custody, but if it contains identification, it will be returned to its owner, he said.

The backpack — which police described earlier Friday as a “suspicious object” — sat several meters from Silliman College near a lamppost. The bag, when brought into police custody, appeared to contain folded clothing.

NHPD spokesman David Hartman denied Friday afternoon that the situation was a bomb threat, stating rather that the police were engaged in “ongoing investigation into a suspicious, unidentified object.”

“This is just a precautionary operation to keep people safe,” said one officer standing outside the police tape.

Police began closing the street at around 12:45 p.m. A police officer at the scene said he did not know when the bag was first discovered or by whom.

Sara Tabin, Daniela Brighenti and Robbie Short contributed reporting.